Planning car show a full-time job
The Iola Old Car Show doesn’t just happen.
Known as the largest old car show in the Midwest and one of the largest in the United States, Iola ’14 is set for July 10-13, at the Iola Old Car Show Grounds in Iola.
The four-day event takes a full year of planning and the cooperation of four full-time staff members.
The IOCS staff includes: Joan Schultz, executive director; Mary Schwartz, administrative assistant; Mitchell Swenson, public relations/marketing director; and Larry Fechter, operations manager.
“The oversight of an event, such as the Iola Old Car Show, takes a strong commitment of the staff to one another,” Schultz said. “We collaborate to give our community, our participants and our spectators the best experience we can, year after year.”
Schultz began working with the Iola Old Car Show, Inc. in 1984 and has served in many positions since then. She was appointed to the position of executive director in 2000.
Schultz reports to the Iola Old Car Show Board of Directors and oversees many aspects of the show and is responsible for the many administrative tasks.
In addition to the troubleshooting and customer relations aspects of her work during the show itself, Schultz assigns the 4,430 swap spaces, 1,000 car corral spaces and 1,600 campsites.
She orders all the food for the show and coordinates work night meals.
Schultz also organizes the annual meeting and board meetings.
This year celebrates her 30th anniversary with Iola Old Car Show, Inc.
In 1980, Schwartz began working as a volunteer in the IOCS swap area.
Her role as administrative assistant started in 1995, which encompasses a multitude of duties.
The responsibility of Show Car registration is only one of her tasks. She also coordinates obtaining and assigning of approximately 29,000 hours worked by volunteers, from more than 128 civic and service groups.
In addition to her duties with the annual car show, Schwartz is responsible for the coordination of the Iola Vintage Military & Gun Show in August.
Swenson joined the staff of the Iola Old Car Show, Inc full-time in 2008.
Prior, he had volunteered for the car show in a variety of areas. He brings with him his abilities and skills in promoting a variety of shows in the Iola-Scandinavia communities.
Swenson has coordinated the Scandinavia Corn Roast for 23 years and has worked with other large events, such as Farm Technology Days. He has more than 20 years of experience in Information Technology, communication, writing and public speaking.
In addition to marketing the Iola Old Car Show, he works with the coordination of special features and attractions during the car show, including the Teamed to Learn education tent.
He also assists with the setup and promotions of the Iola Vintage Military Show & Gun Show.
Fechter recently joined the Iola Old Car Show, Inc. and brings with him 37 years of experience in the facility management field.
In addition to heading up the maintenance team, he is responsible for overseeing that the grounds are ready for the show.
Drawing upon the diverse skills of his maintenance team and the abilities of the volunteer workers, Fechter provides direction for the implementation of car show grounds improvements.
He also brings with him a strong interest in cars and the preservation of the hobby.